FREEping is a ping utility that can be used as a simple monitoring tool. There are many free network scanners that are much more sophisticated, but FREEping has a feature that allows you to monitor the availability of an unstable server without much hassle.
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FREEping constantly pings a server, but it won’t immediately mark it as unavailable if no echo response is received within the configurable ping timeout period. This is useful because sometimes packets are lost or a server is just too busy to respond in time.
There are two main parameters that allow you to control the conditions when a server is noticed as unreachable: the ping success period and the ping failure period. When consecutive pings fail for a period longer than the set ping fail period, FREEping marks the host as unavailable. It will mark the server again as reachable when echo responses are received for a phase longer than the success period.
FREEping can send you a notification whenever a server goes down. But, you will have to start the Messenger service under Windows. This service is disabled by default because it was misused by spammers. Note that the messenger service is no longer supported by Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
Of course, FREEping can’t replace a monitoring tool. But it can be useful in situations when you want to set up ping-based monitoring quickly.